13 inch Air vs 13 inch Retina - Daily use and Gaming

Hey everyone,

Currently in the market for my first Mac, and having the internal debate about which laptop to pull the trigger on.

Debating between the 13 inch Air w 8Gb ram(maybe upgrade the processor) and the base MacBook Retina 13.

I'm looking for portability, daily surfing, gaming specifically Blizzard products (Diablo 3, StarCraft 3, and WoW), maybe the occasional video/photo edit to take advantage of the features of a Mac.

Reading all the different forums, some say the gaming aspects will be fine on the air(on low graphics), some say it won't... Same can be said of the Retina 13... I can't personally justify the 15 Retina although its SO nice...

Just wanted to get some feedback from some of the experts out there :)

Appreciate the help!

2 Answers from the Community

  • Best Answer:

    I have a mid 2009 13" MacBook Pro running a 2.53 Intel Core 2 Duo with 8 GB of ram, and it is my daily use computer (by choice over a Dell workstation). I am in the Printing industry and I use both the current Adobe CS6 (Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, etc...) as well as CAD software.

    On my off time, I also Play WOW (Mists of Pandaria) and Diablo 3. Both have to have their resolution turned way down to be playable.

    If I were in the market today, I would pay the little extra and get the
    15-inch: 2.6GHz, MacBook Pro. It's only $200 more than the retna display 13" MacBook Pro, but it has a 1GB dedicated video card + the 256 shared card. The retna display is nice, but there are only a handful of programs that can take advantage of if at this time. Just my $0.02, so take it as you will.

    • Answered by Travis L from Fairbanks
    • 01 14, 13
  • I have a 2012 13 MBA with 8gb and the i5 processor and 128gb. It is plenty fast for my task - mostly work oriented with low graphics.

    The 8GB or RAM I think helps speed things up but I can't say how well games will work on the MBA. This laptop is clearly faster than my old 2009 Mac Pro (desktop) with quad core processor 2.8ghz.

    I am a little disappointed I did not go for the larger SDD - 256GB or 512Gb.
    I copied data from my old MACBOOK and I am now at the upper end of the 128GB.
    I definitely have had to delete old files to get to a more manageable level of data. Looking to upgrade to 256GB.
    If you plan to store photos, I would definitely get the largest SSD you can afford or use an external RAID mirror drive.

    Good luck with your decision.

    • Answered by Bill A from Mission Viejo
    • 02 16, 13